There’s the expression “gone to seed, ” used to describe something that’s outlived it’s purpose, or something that has been let go to the point of deterioration. It suggests negligence, loss of value, and at least as it pertains to nature, an entry into the last phase of life. The summer garden, for instance, has past its zenith, and as it lets go, so do I. Lots of things have gone to seed either because I’ve been negligent in keeping them pruned and going, or because it’s simply time. The light is beginning to shift, and another season is just around the corner. Not only have the green onions, the basil and the zinnias already been busy propagating for a couple of weeks, but the Dahlias have gotten too heavy for themselves and fallen over, the Shastas are barely sputtering in their second blooming and the drought got my Phlox. Nothing has any elbow room anymore, especially with the Morning Glory vines running rampant in the thick foliage, trying to choke everything with their coiling mischief.
The life metaphors here are pretty potent. Just as there is neglect, clutter and lack of discipline in my garden at the moment, I admit to having let some things go a little untended over the last few weeks. There are some weeds in my mind that need to be plucked, and some overgrowth of attention to things that aren’t useful. Its time for a shift.
I resist, however, the common notion of the expression “gone to seed.” Instead of outliving it’s usefulness, the plant that has gone to seed has lived long enough to bloom! It has endured the trials and snares along the way to maturity, coming fully into itself, and then is literally bursting with the fullness of life. If it’s achieved the height of its beauty and is on the brink of multiplying itself times thousands, then it’s not past being of value in the least. It’s in its most creative, exciting time yet. Even if life gets a little messy when some things are ending, there is always the potential, promise and abundance of a new season.